Spring is one of my favorite times of year: March Madness takes center stage and signs of new life are everywhere. March Madness means a steady diet of college basketball all during the month, culminating with championship games early in April. Our favorite team played and won its way to the Final Four of the NIT, with us bemoaning the fact that we weren't physically present at the games being played about two hours from here. Tonight and tomorrow night we'll be glued to the TV watching the championship games for men and women in the NCAA. Then, no more basketball until November. College basketball takes a back seat for fans, but not for players and coaches.
Players are encouraged to learn from their failures and successes. The coach continues to drill the team on the fundamentals of the game, to practice hard and to aim for March of the next year. To reach the goal, to win a championship, no team can afford have a "pity party" when they lose and no team can "rest on their laurels" when they win. What a parallel for life! Life is not perfect--we are not always at our best. We don't make all the shots, we miss the easy lay-ups, we foul unnecessarily, we make stupid mistakes, we forget fundamentals. If we are too pleased with how good things are, how well WE have done we get soft, out of practice and don't make good judgements.
Both the basketball team and life have goals. While the team aims for March of the next year, we, in life, aim for what the apostle Paul called the prize, the high calling of God. The team is led by the coach to remember fundamentals and put them into practice. The individual is led by his/her Coach to remember fundamentals and make them a part of life. James wrote that it wasn't enough to hear the word, we are to do what it says. Fundamentals plus listening to the coach plus practice makes for an exciting March Madness. Fundamentals plus listening to the Coach plus putting the fundamentals into practice makes for a meaningful life.
Enjoy the games. I hope your team wins.